The Authorities in the Province of Oriental Mindoro arrested 14 people at the Calapan City port after trying to enter the province using fake documents on Thursday, August 18, despite the implemented travel restrictions.
According to Governor Bonz Dolor, his order is clear to all government agencies to focus on human entry and exit in the province in response to the surge of COVID-19 and its variants.
Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer (PDRRMO) Vinscent Gahol and Operations and Warning Division Chief Ram Temeña said, in collaboration with the Philippine National Police (PNP),they immediately conducted entrapment operations after they received information about the said illegal travel.
Among those 14 people, the driver and his companion who were in charge of recruitment of passengers who wanted to enter the province from the National Capital Region (NCR) were also arrested.
According to the report, they offered a complete package to passengers returning to Oriental Mindoro in the amount of ₱2,000 to ₱3,500, including the necessary travel documents. Although S-PASS is legitimate, other documents are fake such as RT-PCR test results, IATF/DTI identification cards and travel orders.
Cases of falsification of documents, violation of IATF guidelines, and existing local guidelines will be filed. Other possible cases for the driver of the vehicle who is the mastermind of the illegal activity are also being studied.
The border control in Oriental Mindoro has been tightened in accordance with the Provincial Executive Order No. 33-A where travel restrictions are enforced until August 31 due to the recorded cases of Delta variant and continuous increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Recently, the Province of Oriental Mindoro recorded two local cases of Delta variants which were the first cases recorded in MIMAROPA. Fortunately, both patients have been tagged as recovered from the disease.